How Palliative Care in Southeast Texas Can Help Seriously Ill Patients Live and Die Well
Few people would say they want to die while undergoing painful last-minute resuscitation or while hooked up to machines in a hospital. Yet it’s the death many Americans end up with. In our country, hospice is overwhelmingly provided in a patient’s home or in a nursing home, whereas palliative care in Southeast Texas is available at any stage of an illness. And so we can see people in the hospital; we can see people in clinics when they come to see their oncologist or their cardiologist. With palliative care, you can have us on your team just right alongside care like chemotherapy or dialysis — we’re meant to attend to your quality of…
What Matters Most
When trying to figure out what matters most the only metric of success that really matters is the one we ignore: “Thanks to Facebook and Instagram, many of us are still nominally in touch with our high-school friends and coworkers from several jobs ago. But in our daily lives, communities are shrinking… We may have hundreds of friends on Instagram, but evidence is mounting that those connections are not the ones that provide us the social balm we need, which is human contact. Instead, the more “connected” we become, the more we seem to let our social relationships atrophy…” Human Contact, Building a Community The author’s well-written essay on what matters most is…
Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Sign up for Medicare Part B
To simplify a complex process, people are supposed to sign up for Medicare Part B when they turn 65, unless they are working and have coverage through an employer, or a working spouse’s employer. There is an Initial Enrollment Period to apply for Part B, which covers much of what we consider health care: doctor visits, tests, injectable drugs (including chemotherapy), ambulances, physical therapy and other non-hospital services. NYT’s Paula Span gives us the heads up in her article in the NYT’s New Old Age section: Don’t Wait to Sign Up for Medicare Part B. Waiting and missing the deadline can result in permanently higher premiums when you do choose to sign up (10% per…
Advance Directives: How They Work
Most people do not want to think about death and dying — so they don’t. Until they have to. Unfortunately, that often means that families are left struggling with difficult decisions about important matters, such as whether or not Mom would like to be kept alive using a ventilator, or who should be in charge of managing Dad’s financial affairs, because Mom or Dad never made clear what they wanted for themselves. Advance directives are important tools for anyone to have, because even the healthiest person could experience a sudden accident and not be able to speak for herself. But when you have a life-threatening illness, it’s particularly critical to make clear, in…
Medicare Advantage Is About to Change. Here’s What You Should Know.
Medicare Advantage plans will be allowed to cover adult day care, home modifications and other new benefits. When Medicare’s open enrollment period begins on Oct. 15, the private insurers that underwrite Advantage plans — which already lure seniors with things traditional Medicare can’t cover, like eyeglasses, hearing aids and gym memberships — will be free to add a long list of new benefits. Among those the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will now allow, if they’re deemed health-related: Adult day care programs. Home aides to help with activities of daily living, like bathing and dressing. Palliative care at home for some patients. Home safety devices and modifications like grab bars and wheelchair…
The Illness Is Bad Enough. The Hospital Visit May Be Even Worse.
The elderly are particularly vulnerable to “post-hospital syndrome,” some experts believe, and that may be why so many patients return. They believe it underlies the stubbornly high rate of hospital readmissions among older patients. In 2016, about 18 percent of discharged Medicare beneficiaries returned to the hospital within 30 days, according to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. We all know a loved one (or had the misfortune of it being us) who was admitted to a hospital for a serious illness. Even after discharge, the stress and disruptions of hospitalization — interrupted sleep, weight loss, mild delirium, deconditioning caused by days in bed — left us disoriented and weakened, a…
Palliative Care Can Help
Are you or a loved one facing a serious illness? Palliative Care can help. Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with serious illness. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in your illness, and you can have it along with curative treatment. The goal is to relieve symptoms and stress and improve your quality of life.
Improving quality of life for people living with congestive heart failure
Adapted from an excellent article on the get palliative care website. Life with congestive heart failure (CHF) can be a difficult journey. Your symptoms may get in the way of day-to-day activities, your family members may worry about how to take care of you, and you may be unsure about what to expect and how to plan for your future. Palliative care can help make that journey easier on you and your family, so you can live as well as possible. Palliative care is team-based medical care that is focused on improving quality of life for people living with serious illness and their families. It provides an added layer of support to control your pain…
When is Palliative Care Appropriate?
Palliative Care: Support for Patients and Caregivers If you’ve been diagnosed with a serious, long-lasting disease or with a life-threatening illness, palliative care can make your life — and the lives of those who care for you — much easier. Palliative care can be performed along with the care you receive from your primary doctors. With palliative care, there is a focus on relieving pain and other troubling symptoms and meeting your emotional, spiritual, and practical needs. In short, this new medical specialty aims to improve your quality of life — however you define that for yourself. Your palliative care providers will work with you to identify and carry out your goals: symptom…
Pain Medications for Palliative Care
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, one of the first things you may wonder about is pain. How much pain are you likely to be in? How will you cope with it? What can your doctors do about it? The good news is that there is a lot that you and your doctors can do to keep pain at bay. You have multiple options, one of which is medication. When it comes to medications for pain management, there are two broad categories: opioids, which dull pain systemically, throughout the body; and adjuvant analgesics, or helper medications that can target specific types of pain, often by fighting…